Map Making Competition #4

By Valkyh

Map Making Competition #4 — feature micro, prize money and much more

After the Micro rotation was introduced almost exactly one year ago on February the 6th in the 19th Rotation Update, plenty new maps have been built to fit a small player count. However, since it is the newest rotation format still, there are not too many maps that fit into the rotation. The result is that many maps in the Micro rotation are overplayed and ready to be replaced with fresh ones...

This is one of the main reasons why we are so happy to announce our 4th Map Making Competition, the Micro Map Making Competition! Micro maps, an overhaul of the last rating system, real prize money, talent scouting and many more things are coming at you in this competition. Start building your map now and win special prizes!


Start of building period/Submissions open: as of this announcement
Submissions close: March 8th, 11:59pm EST
Testing Sessions: March 14th/15th - 21st/22nd
Scores and winners are announced: March 27th

Dates for Testing Sessions are subject to change and may also take place under the week after based on the amount of submissions, availability of the judges and effectiveness of the tests that occur. Results will likely follow within a week of Public Testing concluding.
  • All maps are subject to fit the standards listed in this document:
  • Maps must not be authored by more than ONE person.
  • Other people are allowed to contribute to your map (building, feedback or else), but need to be listed as contributors in the submission along with their type of contribution.
  • You can submit as many maps as you wish, but only your highest scoring map will count.
  • You must not submit maps that have been submitted to Stratus before.
  • You must not submit maps that you did not make yourself.
  • Your submission must not exceed the deadline (March 8th, 11:59pm).
  • By submitting your map you agree to our Map Submission policy. (
  • Map Developers and Judges are not allowed to give feedback on any MMC map.
  • Any violation of the rules will result in the submission being disqualified.
  • Map Developers and Judges reserve the right to deny the admittance of any submission to the competition.
  • To submit your map you need to follow these instructions:
  • Connect to our building server via
  • Create a new world using /create mmc_<your map name>.
  • If you would like to let other people join your world, use /state public, otherwise keep your world private by using /state private.
  • Build your map in this particular world, you can access it via /map <your map name>.
  • After you finish the map, fill out this form with information about your map:
  • Repeat for any other maps you want to submit.

All submitted maps are going to receive an XML made by the Map Developers. If you however want to XML your map by yourself, send the XML after submitting your map to the head judge via Discord (Valky#2870).


The judging team consists of the following people: Valkyh (Head Judge), AlmightyBread, ItzaMeLuigi, Xerocoles, Blazy36, and Sharkskill.

Your map can score a total of 50 points.
These points are weighted as follows:

  • Gameplay /25
    • General balance /10
    • Layout /5
    • Game progression /5
    • Understandability of map /5
  • Aesthetics /15
    • Theme /5
    • Terrain /5
    • Miscellaneous /5
  • Innovation /10
    • Layout uniqueness /5
    • Aesthetics uniqueness /5

After we announced the contest, the community requested to have increased anonymity in this contest, which made us reconsider this previously discarded concept. In favor of (highly) increasing the chance of a fair rating for every map, we assigned a few Map Developers to handle the submissions entirely and also remove any track of the author in the map for the testing. This means that if you submitted a map, during the testing period your name will not be shown related to your map. Any player heads, signs containing the player name or else are also going to be temporarily removed. (Note: You still need to enter exact names in the map submission, since otherwise your submission will not be accepted)

We are also restricting the judges from freely teleporting to people on our building server as that may reveal the connection between you and the map you are making. If any judge teleports to you without your consent, please contact Valky#2870 via Discord. You should however acknowledge that if you for example post screenshots of your map in Discord or else, your loss of anonymity will be in your own responsibility.


1st Place - $35 (USD), Alto Rank, [MMC Winner] Discord Rank for 3 months
2nd Place - $15 (USD), Alto Rank, [MMC Runner-up] Discord Rank for 3 months
3rd Place - Strato Rank

If you are a winner, we are going to contact you through the Discord username you submitted your map with to talk about your preferred method of receiving the prize.

Legal notes

No purchase is necessary to enter this competition. Shop purchases do not enhance the chance of winning. Void where prohibited. By entering this competition, you declare that you have satisfied all relevant legal requirements for entering this competition in your jurisdiction, and you acknowledge that your entry will be void, should it become apparent that you are legally prohibited from entering or have failed to satisfy your legal obligations.


Micro Standards Documentation:
Anax Guide:
Mapmaking Discord channel:

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them in the #mapmaking channel or direct them to me on Discord (Valky#2870).

Duels Season 1 Release

By ShinyDialga

Stratus Duels Season 1 Launch

Season 1 of Duels has been released! To join, connect to and use the server picker or type /server duels to join. There have been a number of changes since Season 0 (you can read more about Season 0 here and here), so this post will outline all the new changes.

Firstly, you can now purchase loot boxes with coins to unlock cosmetics! There are three tiers: Normal, Super, and Ultra. The Normal boxes are the best for obtaining commons and uncommons, the Super boxes are the best for obtaining rares and ultra rares, and the Ultra boxes are the best for obtaining legendaries and unheards. If you pull a duplicate, you will get coins back based on how rare your cosmetic was.

Next, knockback has been modified. We received a lot of feedback from our Season 0 tests, so we have taken them into account and made adjustments accordingly. We are open to changing them again in the future, so feel free to provide feedback for these new values.

The ELO formula also has been modified to prevent overinflation. High ranks are still obtainable, but they are not as easy to get as it was in Season 0. On a separate note, Skybridge ELO gains and losses have been cut in half. Since the matches were so quick, it was extremely easy to push it. It should now be more similar to the other ladders.

Matchmaking has been modified so that waiting longer increases the potential opponent ELO range significantly.

Casual ladders have been enabled.

You can now run /stats to check your wins, losses and win/loss ratio. The stats are split by ladder, as well as having a global tracker!

In terms of arenas, we strived to create maps that were both aesthetically pleasing and play well. In total, there are 18 arenas which can be broken down as the following (italicmaps are new to season 1):
Archer Ladder: Caves, Badland, Hieroglyph, Woodwork
BuildUHC/Stratus Ladder: Aquatic, Badland, Caves, End, Hieroglyph, Nether, Roofed, Savannah, Snowbound
NoDebuff Ladder: Ocean, Overcast, Wireframe
Skybridge Ladder: oof, Skyline, Sphynx, Tron, Waterfall
We will continue to supply new maps as the season progresses!

We also want to congratulate gagagdgguacamole as they were #1 Global ELO in Season 0! They have received The Crown, which is an exclusive cosmetic that applies to every ladder they play in.

Misc Changes:
- You now see your ELO in a match
- /hub works
- You get a sound in game when your match starts
- There's a new hotbar item that lets you play again after a ranked match

We have many more plans for Duels that are currently in the works, such as an anticheat and objective based ladders. The devs will be working hard to provide consistent updates to duels, so we hope you stick around for more!

Archer Tournament

By Sharkskill

Duels Tournament

We are excited to announce our first Duels Tournament! It will be focused on the Archer kit. The archer kit is similar to Badlion’s implementation of archer where arrows deal damage based on distance. Play against other players in a massive 1v1 tournament of bows! You can sign up via the link here.


The tournament will be broken into two stages, a Swiss stage and a Bracket stage. During the swiss stage, players will play a Bo1 against opponents who have a similar win/loss record. There will be a maximum of 10 rounds, however, this stage will be cut short if matches exceed the 2 ½ hour time limit imposed. For the bracket stage, the top 16 players of the swiss-stage will face of in a single elimination Bo3 bracket. It will start at 2:30PM EST and players will be seeded relative to how they did during the first stage. The bracket will be announced when signups close. In both formats, matches will be started by a ref messaging you and your opponent to ensure that you’re around. If you don’t reply within 5 mins of the ref messaging you then you’ll be treated as not showing and given the loss.

Registration & Rules

To register for this event, you must have a Google and Discord account. The sign up form is here. and you can join our tournament discord here for more information. You can find the rules for this tournament here.



The top 3 winning players will get

First Place: Cirro + Unique Archer Tournament Animated Armor + 2 Ultra Boxes
Second Place: 3 months Nimbus + 2 Ultra Boxes
Third Place: 1 month Nimbus + 1 Ultra Box

Duels Season 1

By ShinyDialga

Hello everyone! A lot has been going on with Duels behind the scenes, and now everything is ready to be revealed! To start: Season 0 testing will be open every day this week. Check #events to see when the server is online. Climb the rankings today on with /server Duels. On top of that, Season 1 will be launching next Saturday (January 25th). There are new incentives to play, many of which are active now for Season 0. Be sure to read up about them all down below!

New Ladders


Defeat your opponent using only healing/support potions!


Equipped with only a bow, you must shoot your opponent to death. Arrows do more damage the further away you are. Be sure to make every shot count!

Custom Layouts

Custom layouts are here! To change your layout, you must be in the lobby. From there click on the iron helmet to select a kit to edit. You can swap around items in any way you like. Once you are done, simply close the inventory. More custom slots will be available in the future.


Cosmetics have gotten a MASSIVE overhaul. Plenty more have been added with fun ways to obtain them.


There are many different tiers of cosmetics you can unlock. Here are them all:

  • Common
  • Uncommon
  • Rare
  • Ultra Rare
  • Legendary
  • Unheard
    • This is the rarest tier you can get from a loot box. You won’t know what they are unless you or someone you see uses it!
  • Unique
    • These items can only be obtained through special means such as rank ups in ladder or Twitter competitions. You can’t unlock these from loot boxes.

A new currency has been added to Duels: Coins! You can earn Coins by playing ranked matches and doing quests. With those Coins, you can purchase loot boxes to obtain fancy cosmetics that apply in game! There will be many tiers of loot boxes, so spend your Coins wisely if you want to earn the rarest cosmetics. Ladder themed loot boxes will also be available at a higher price if you want to unlock a specific item. During Season 0 you can earn Coins by playing matches, but loot boxes will not be purchasable until Season 1 officially launches. So be sure to save them up!


A lot of new cosmetics will become available: over 100 will be unlockable at launch! Here is a little taste of what there will be available. Do note that while some cosmetics may be made of entirely different materials, nothing gameplay related will be affected using our custom developed system.

The Crown

This is the rarest cosmetic in the entire server. There will never be more than one in existence. Whoever has the highest #1 Global Ladder Rating at the end of every season will inherit it from the previous owner. It is an enchanted golden crown that is visible on every single ladder and in the lobby. Whoever has the highest Global Ladder Rating at the end of Season 0 will be the first to obtain it!

Custom Leather Armor Colors

Both Stratus and Archer kits have a lot of leather, so why not be stylish with some different colors? If you’re lucky, you may even obtain awesome animated armor that transitions smoothly between a colorful gradient!

Custom Blocks

Both Stratus and BuildUHC have many blocks including wood, cobblestone, and glass. Change up their appearance using other similar looking blocks you can obtain in loot boxes.

Custom Potion Skins

Unlock fancy skins for your potions in NoDebuff!

Skybridge Sumo Slappers

Slap your opponents off in style with funny items!

Custom Food

Change the type of food you eat in each ladder. Hope you’re not a picky eater!


Many fun types of armor and more will be available for you to show off while you wait for your matches. Remember that Twitter competition?

ELO Changes

After much consideration, I have changed the Rating formula for the remaining days of Season 0. In the few tests we’ve had, a lot of matches were played. However, nobody ever managed to get past Gold rank in any single ladder. This is because when you lost to people who were 1000 Rating below you, you lose a lot. To compensate, the Fair Start threshold has been changed to Obsidian Rank. What that means is that you won’t lose as much Rating per match until you reach Obsidian. You also don’t lose as much to people who are lower than you as before. This should allow for many more people to get higher than previous tests.

Another big thing to note is that ELO will be reset for the remainder of Season 0. This is because we have migrated Duels to the new API entirely, and converting over the old data would be a tedious task. However, the previously stated ELO changes means that it will be much easier to push than before, so getting back your old ranks should be much easier.

Minor Changes

  • You can now check the leaderboard using the sign in your hotbar
  • The in match scoreboard now tells you about your opponent
  • /duel is reenabled
  • Casual ladders have been disabled for now
  • Support for a secret future addition has been added
  • Minor improvements

Hope you enjoy all these changes! Thanks for playing Stratus Duels.

Ranked Season 3

By Sharkskill.

Ranked Season 3 Banner

Announcing Stratus Ranked Season 3, where you can play competitive score based matches anytime against other players! It launches on Saturday 18th January at 5 PM EST.

For more info join the ranked discord at

Old School CTW Event

By Valkyh

Old School CTW Event Banner

Do you miss the old times of playing games of Capture the Wool with full teams? Do you miss the challenge of defending and rushing with lots of opponents on the map? Do you simply miss the atmosphere playing on map like they were back in the day?

Join in on old school versions of Capture the Wool classics and favorites. Our staff has compiled a pool of over 20 maps that are in their ORIGINAL Overcast Network state from 2012-2015. Some of which versions may be outdated, but definitely held highly — for a good reason!

We got you! Everything you miss, everything you loved is back — exclusively starting at 12pm EST (6pm for Central Europe) on 11th January, the upcoming Saturday. We will also have a few famous content creators playing the event throughout the day, so make sure to check for streams if you cannot play yourself!

Check out this trailer by bYuri for some epic nostalgic vibes:

Old School CTW Event Map Pool (subject to change)
  • A New Day
  • Argon
  • Bamboo Valley OLD
  • Battle Ecliptica III
  • Below Zero
  • Blocks CTW OLD
  • Broken Unity
  • Fairy Tales 2: A tale or two
  • Fourchette OLD
  • Golden Drought
  • Hadron
  • Hydrolock
  • Jungle Beat OLD
  • Kytriak
  • Mushroom Gorge
  • Pipe Palace
  • Race for Victory
  • Race for Victory 2
  • Race for Victory 3
  • Ring Race
  • Royal Garden CTW OLD
  • Smog
  • Tenebrous
  • Turf Wars
  • Twisted
  • Two Tier
  • Utopia
  • Wit’s End OLD

Note: Maps marked as OLD have their special nostalgic versions loaded. If a map isn’t marked as old it didn’t receive any major revamps after the CTW prime time, so it still is the nostalgic version.

Current State and Duels

By ShinyDialga

Hello! I’ve been working hard the past few weeks on new things, and I’m extremely excited to share it all with you! I understand that the past month has been rough, but I assure that everything is moving forward smoothly behind the scenes. We have been keeping everything quiet to avoid false promises, but now we’re ready to announce everything new Stratus will offer.

What Has Been Happening?

As you may know, a lot has happened the past few weeks. I want to clarify everything that has happened and what decisions were made.

About two weeks ago, our 1.12 PGM setup was crashing all the time. Only a handful of us could deal with it, and due to our busy schedules, the server was down a lot. Not only that, but we were paying the same amount as full uptime, which meant were essentially throwing money away. We tested the 1.8 server as a standalone, and it performed much better. Everything seemed to be going good, right?

Well, not exactly. While a standalone PGM was saving us money, we focused on that issue too much. We downgraded the box to the point where memory errors were crashing the server constantly. As a result, I’ve recently upgraded the box. I will try my hardest to keep the uptime higher than it ever has been moving forward.

In that process, we turned the old API off as it was far too expensive for what little use it provided. This included shutting down the website, which was the only main use for the API. We have moved to a static one as a temporary placeholder to keep costs down significantly. We took a backup before shutting it down, but nothing is currently using it. As we move forward, I’ll be importing that old data into our new systems.

Another big problem was that the server itself has been lacking a lot of features. Bans were temporary and reset every restart. There were no ranks, so everyone but OPs were equal and all donator perks were worthless. I’ve brought a basic form of ranks and punishments back with the new API. That being said, PGM still has a lot more work to do, and I’ll be ensuring more gets completed in the future.

For all of the trouble that’s been happening, I’m truly sorry. I’ve had to silently fix the issues on this so as to not make any false promises, but I want to show we will be stronger moving forward with many new things to show for it.


Duels Banner

Remember my post a few weeks ago where I promised Duels would be our next gamemode? We’re happy to announce that it has secretly been developed, and the Season 0 server is live NOW! Climb the rankings today on using any version 1.7+. Read on for an explanation of the gamemode.


Fight iron against iron with this classic kit. Build structures to gain an advantage in combat!

After a long game of UHC, use your obtained gear to win the game! Be careful, health doesn’t regenerate in this ladder!

Take advantage of all the health potions you have to gain the long term advantage over your opponent!

Skybridge Sumo (COMING SOON)
Knock your opponent off of the skybridge using any cheap tactic you can come up with!

And more! (...Did I just hear an explosion?)


At Stratus, we take competitive seriously. To keep true to our values, I wanted to build a unique system that is fun to play and competitive at the same time. That is why I came up with the Ranking System. Everybody starts at the minimum Rating of 0 and progresses forward through the ranks as they play and get better.

  • Wood: 25
  • Stone: 100
  • Leather: 250
  • Iron: 500
  • Lapis: 750
  • Redstone: 1000
  • Gold: 1250
  • Emerald: 1500
  • Diamond: 1750
  • Obsidian: 2000
Rating Explanation

In the Rating System, you win more Rating for beating people who have a higher Rating than you, and less Rating for beating people who have a lower Rating than you. The opposite applies to losing, where the underdog gets more Rating for winning. The formulas we run are heavily based on ELO. In our system, if you win against a person who is the same Rating as you, you gain about 30 Rating. That amount increases up to 2x as much depending on how much higher their Rating is compared to yours.

Global Rank

Your Global Rank is a separate unit of measurement that showcases those who can master all ladders. It is calculated by taking the average of your Ratings across all ladders, so push everything to increase your Global Rank!

Unlimited Ranked Matches

Everybody will have unlimited ranked matches! You can also queue up for ranked matches as soon as you join the server. Since the Rating gap between high and low ranked players is larger here, lower ranked players will have little effect on high. More information on that is explained below.

Fair Start

One system we have incorporated into our Rating formulas is a Fair Start algorithm. Everybody starts at 0 Rating, and cannot drop below that number. This system also implements what I call a Rating Threshold. You don’t lose as much Rating until you reach this Threshold, which is currently at the Redstone Rank (1000). The amount you lose gradually increases until you reach this Threshold. The Fair Start formulas are designed to benefit both new players and old players trying out new ladders, while still keeping the competitive aspect at the top. Once you climb into the higher ranks, the effects from the Fair Start system will not affect you at all. This also makes it hard to farm Rating off of lower accounts as the gap between the best and the worst will be larger thanks to this system.


For our hardcore players, the ultimate goal will be our Prestige Ranks. Once you reach Obsidian Rank (2000), you can earn Prestige Levels for every 100 extra Rating you earn. For example, you start with Obsidian I at 2000, Obsidian II unlocks at 2100, Obsidian III unlocks at 2200, and so on. How far can you push the limits?


Matchmaking is an important part of any competitive game where you queue, so I want to be completely open about our system. When you queue up, there is a range of Ratings that you can play against. The longer you wait, the larger this range gets. Once somebody gets in your range, you will fight. Since this is our first season, the ranges are very large such that nobody will wait long if somebody else is in the queue. I will see how well it does this season and will adjust it accordingly.


To have fun things for you to unlock, we will be adding more cosmetics as time goes on. At launch, the Stratus Rank Colored Leggings will be unlockable. This cosmic is applied automatically when you play matches with the Stratus kit. It is a dyed armor piece that reflects your current Stratus Ladder Rank. While it may look weak, it is actually as strong as iron and has no effect on gameplay. The plan is to add more cosmetics in the future, and I want to make some hard to unlock. Hint: Pay attention to the leaderboards! ;)

Miscellaneous Features

Duel other players by using /duel <player> <ladder>.

View leaderboards for any ladder using /leaderboards <ladder>. You can also view Global Rank leaderboards by using /leaderboards global.

View both your status and your opponent’s status after a match with post-match inventories. They are clickable in chat after each ranked match.

Coming Soon
  • Custom Kits
  • Spectating
  • Leaderboard GUI
  • And More!


While a lot has changed with Duels, PGM has not been forgotten. The API I have been developing for Duels was also designed with PGM in mind. We now have working punishments and ranks back on the server. I’ve imported most premium purchases, but I still need to import recent ones — they will be taken care of soon. New donations will also be manual for the time being, so bear with us as we move to this new system. The server itself has been experiencing a lot of problems recently, but I’ve wrote another section further down to explain more about our past situation and current status.

Now that PGM 1.8 is open source, there’s no better time to start contributing than right now. I’ve been hard at work getting Duels ready, but once it’s stable we will be putting more work into PGM again.


We all miss the old website, but it was unreasonably expensive and tied very closely to the old plugin. So today I'm excited to announce the release of a new website!

Since we wanted to replace the static website as quickly as possible, this website is still missing a ton of features, but we’ll be working on gradually re-adding them.

If you have any ideas, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to message Half#6583 on discord.

What’s Next?

Thankfully the server is now more stable. There is still a lot to be done, but now we have something to show to move forward.

While PGM may run fine now, it still needs a lot of improvement to catch up to its old state. Rotations are a huge priority at the moment, as the maps are too random now. Many ranks are incomplete at this time, but their features will get added back one by one. Private servers are a high priority, but will take some time until they’re back. Everyone who had one during the downtime will be compensated when this new system is in place. Punishments are also on a new data set, and I will bring back the old data once I get it converted to the new format. I also want to keep expanding PGM as a plugin, and will continue to do so once we get it back to its former glory.

Now that Duels is out of the pipework, we will be gathering input on how to improve it for future seasons. New ladders will come soon, and are almost ready. They will likely be available as unranked ladders later in the current season. I want to come up with innovative ladders to keep everything fresh for future seasons. I’ll be constantly developing new features for the current season, so stay tuned for more.

Thank you for sticking with us the past few weeks. I hope to keep everything strong going forward, and will try my hardest to do so. I hope you enjoy everything in the upcoming weeks!